In rhythmic gymnastics you can perform individual routines or group routines. In Aesthetic group gymnastics, as the name indicates, you can only perform group routine.
In our club, we train all our gymnasts in group. Both AGG group and rhythmics group. Only gymnasts who do 9 hours or more of training are offered the opportunity of an individual routine
There is a reason for this. Our gymnasts are not competitive and most of them train less than 9 hours a week. Consequently in order to provide a healthy training we cannot require them to perform extreme movements that are often seen in an individual rhythmics routine. Group routines even at the international level are less taxing on the body since the focus is more on synchronicity, collaboration and apparatus exchanges (in rhythmics).
We have a program, that we called performance program that is more demanding than a recreational one. It is geared towards shows instead of competition. In that aspect and at that level of training, the performance of a group is more spectacular in general than the performance of an individual.
But there are also educational reasons.
Working in group requires the gymnasts to understand their collective responsibilities.
- Each gymnast has to be present in the gym for each practice, because others depend on them and because the routine cannot be performed properly without them
- Each gymnast has to work to her maximum all the time so that they keep being an asset to the team
Working in group requires the gymnasts to understand the value of collaboration.
- Each gymnast has to help others to focus, to perform the exchanges, to ensure the proper formations
- Each gymnast has to be able to rely on their partners in the lifts, in the travelling in the exchanges
- Each gymnast has to be ready to cover up a mistake made by another one if necessary
- Each gymnast should be able to count on the support of their team mate, technically but also emotionally
Working in group requires the gymnasts to respect and value differences
- Each gymnast has to work through their challenges and each gymnast brings their personal abilities to the group. It is through the sharing of various abilities and challenges that the routine takes shape
Working in group requires the gymnasts to communicate in a precise and constructive way
- Each gymnast should be able to clearly explain to their team mates what they needs in order to perform a movement that requires collaboration
- Each gymnast should learn to use non-verbal modes of communication
- Each gymnast should develop a constant awareness to their team mates signals
Working in group requires the gymnasts to understand the meaning of team work
- Each gymnast has their own unique part in the group. But none of the gymnast is the star, the group itself is the star and it is made stronger by each gymnast working with their team mates. If the team doesn’t work together, no matter how great each individual is, the performance will not come together
We see our group training as a practical applied way to learn the skills necessary for efficient team work that they will need to be successful in all areas of their lives. We aim to teach the gymnasts to value and enjoy the process so they seek out and model effective team work throughout their lives.